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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What is marriage anyway?

With "same-sex marriage" likely to be hotly debated in 2009 and very likely forced on us by out-of-control activist courts, it would be helpful if people would define what they are talking about?

So what is marriage anyway? What is a working definition?

In our culture today there seem to be two views.

The first is that marriage is a contractual union by and for the individuals involved. Its function is their emotional comfort and sexual pleasure and, therefore, its parameters are defined by the individuals contracting the relationship. Society has no role except to recognize and offer the identical legal rights enjoyed by those in traditional marriages.

The second, and still prevalent, view of marriage is as a contractual union between a man and a woman for the purpose of the emotional well-being of husband and wife and the protection, upbringing, and education of the children of the union.

An important question that is often overlooked in the debate over same-sex marriage is "are there implications for society?" If yes will they be positive or negative? While homosexuals claim that there will be no negative aspects to granting them "marriage" rights, the burden of proof must be on them since this is a social experiment of monumental proportions.

There obviously isn't much data about same-sex marriage. But there are many studies that compare the intact nuclear family of mom, dad and children with other arrangements, and children perform better on all of them when they grow up in an intact family with biological/adoptive mom and dad. A heavily-footnoted article at the Heritage Foundation documents many studies that show the benefits to children of growing up in a traditional family.

It makes sense before you hitch a ride on a bandwagon that you know it isn't about to drive over a cliff.

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